This article provides a note on urban air quality management in India.
Air pollution problems in urban environment are a global problem over several decade. Since 1975, systematic monitoring of primary air pollutants (NOX, SOX, SPM, CO, HC & Pb) were attempted. Among the megacities of the world remarkable variation was noticed with respect to SO2 & SPM level (Table 10.14).
According to WHO guidelines of air pollutant level, many cities already cross the tolerance limit of human exposure of individual pollutants. The details ranking of pollution level is depicted in Fig. 10.8. The major causatives of such urban pollution are due to automobile exhaust and anthropogenic activities.
Thus there is need for careful pollution control measures in major megacities of the world not only for local environmental protection but also for regulation of greenhouse gas emission.
In India, major concern for urban pollution center around metro cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. Over decades, NEERI (1970 – 2000) made systematic analysis of primary air pollutants level as well as their quantum emission from various sources.
The details of Kolkata are depicted in Fig. 10.9. It appears that level of SO2 is much alluring, but level of SPM, CO & NOX are quite significant. Both transport and industry was responsible for gradual rise of SPM & CO and NOx. However, domestic sector is also responsible for rise of CO level.
The components of an urban air quality management system include an air quality monitoring network, emission inventories, numerical prediction models, air quality standards and public information bands, and a range of cost-effective pollution control policies and measures, together with the resources and powers to impose them. It should be borne in. mind that they all form part of an integrated system (Fig. 10.10).
If inadequate attention is given by the authorities to one component it is likely to result in limitations in the effectiveness of the entire system. Many cities in the world have developed some form of urban air quality management system, although many have not reached the sophistication and completeness ultimately needed by urban air quality managers.